The high-stakes public fracas also underscores one of the biggest dynamics of Mr. Trump’s political identity — the disconnect between his role as an incumbent president and his role as a candidate. Mr. Trump is insisting on abandoning Charlotte because the governor wants attendees to follow guidelines set by the C.D.C. — which reports to Mr. Trump.

Delegates who paid $2,000 to the R.N.C. to cover four-days of events and party business have been told by their state party chairmen that the money could be reimbursed, and that whatever event does happen could be a shorter program than originally planned.

And the R.N.C., for now, is hoping to soften the blow to business owners in North Carolina by blaming the governor and trying to still keep a portion of the events in the state. “It is still our hope and desire to hold the business of the Convention in Charlotte but the Governor’s willingness to share his guidelines will need to occur to prevent this meeting from being an exercise in futility,” Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, wrote in a letter Friday to the host committee.

In some ways, the end of a traditional convention makes sense for Mr. Trump.